Gilead. Here's a book that I would like to keep in my shelf. In years to come, I woI recommend Gilead.
How I wish you could’ve known me in my strength.
Gilead. Here's a book that I would like to keep in my shelf. In years to come, I would like to reread it again, and again. For there is so much power in Robinson's words, so much love in Ames' narration.
John Ames is a minister, so I began reading with apprehension. Would this be a spiritual teaching? I hope not, else I will be bored in a snap. And my hope was not in vain. Ames narrates his journey in life, and how these circumstances shaped him as a man, son, husband, and father. I sometimes forget that he is a man of cloth. All I often see is a person who knows his time will be up soon, so he recalled his past, so that his son might pick up something that will remind him how his father loved him so.
Avoid transgression. How's that for advice?
I especially liked the parts where Ames was talking about his love for his second wife. I could feel the giddiness in his voice when he described his feelings for Lila. I could feel his devotion to the quiet strength she exudes, for him and their son. It was something to smile about, really. Finding love late in his life, and for the second time! Truly encourages one's soul to persevere, to hope that that kind of relationship will be his/hers to deserve.
I guess I will not be coherent enough to write a review for Gilead. Reading it was enlightening. I keep seeing my son, and how much I wanted to leave a legacy to him. I keep seeing my dad, on Ames' grandfather, on how he helps other people even if his family has none to give already. What a beautiful experience Marilynne Robinson has given me.
I remember him those days, loving God for the existence of love, and being grateful to God for the existence of gratitude, right down in the depths of my misery.
The key to enjoy reading Offshore is to read it at a slow pace. I did it by reading 20 pages a day. Fortunately, it worked for me. It was a surprise to even like this book, but to love it? It was close to unreal (at least for me, since I am a YA reader most of the time).
I did not try to connect to the characters, but I like Nenna. And her wise-beyond-their-ages children. I found Penelope Fitzgerald's writing funny, if you know when to laugh. Her style made me think that there are things happening other than what I am reading from her words.
I found the marital conflict between Nenna and Edward entertaining. I mean, it was absurd (some things they fight about), but it happens in real life. And how they respond to each other because of those issues, it was funny in a sarcastic way. =)
I peg Offshore as one of those books I will read offhandedly (just to say that I read a Man Booker Prize). But when one character managed to creep into the pages at the last minute... well, well. That was a hopeful turn to an otherwise typical open-ended story....more
I don't believe in Love At First Sight. Lust, maybe. But Love? Hardly. Now, why am I saying this? I picked up TheI recommend Remains of the Day.
I don't believe in Love At First Sight. Lust, maybe. But Love? Hardly. Now, why am I saying this? I picked up The Remains of the Day with little love. That's a fact. Because Ishiguro and me are not friends, due to my utter dislike for Never Let Me Go. And yet, i made an effort to read it. Perhaps it will be different this time? I give second chances to an author's works should I have a terrible reading experience the first time I read from that author. Take John Green, for instance. I didn't like Looking for Alaska, but i took my time before i tried one from Green's again. I read Paper Towns, and wow, now I am a convert.
Is it the same case with Ishiguro?... Yes. I guess Ish and I have to start all over before we became friends. And I still don't like him even if we're friends already (Mr. Stevens irritates me). By the time I finished The Remains... i was stupefied. i was stunned. i am in love. :) Oh, Ishiguro, you sneaky b*stard.
I couldn't care less for the musings of an old, English Butler. Much less of him reminiscing about his greatness of being a butler. So what?!! But when the scenes unfolded between him and his father, i held my breath. i held my heart until it was wrung with weariness and despair over the father-son relationship. i seethed with fury when Mr. Stevens chose to uphold his 'dignity' and 'service' as a butler instead of attending to his ailing father. He says something about impropreity. Well, you can suck it, Mr. Stevens! What an awful son you must be.
Regrets. I usually don't have them. Why should I? Life's too short to postpone living it. So when the final meeting of Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens came, I was sad. I was shaking my head over Mr. Steven's loss, but what's done is done. I spaced out when he got his heart broken, I was still. It's as if i was the one who lost his life over something he thought was of value: being the greatest butler to his master. Mr. Stevens, what an idiot you are.
So. In the end, i have to succumb to Ishiguro's brilliance. Really, to have my emotions evoked so strongly in such simple situations is something of a feat. And to detest the main character but still managed to get drawn and emotional on the book, that's one hell of storytelling.
The Remains of the Day. Man Booker Prize. Totally deserving.
Me. Reading Ishiguro for the second time. Totally worth it....more
Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional.
The Lover’s Dictionary turned me into this mushy lil marshmallow. I felt a lot of emotions when reading this: i smiled a lot because i can relate. i harbored resentment when trust was broken. i felt complete when despite the frustrating times, the couple worked out their differences. Truly, The Lover’s Dictionary is a haven for hopeless romantics!
I love how Levithan presented his story – through snippets of the couple’s lives encased in vocabulary words. I basically have to read between the lines and i loved that. This kind of storytelling was so unique and effective it made me think: a word can really have a whole lot of meaning, right? Arrears. Dumbfounded. Libidinous.
The Lover’s Dictionary is a quick read (211 pgs) but the writing will stay with me for a very, very long time. If you’re in a mature relationship who needs guidance, or you just can’t resist a romantic read, try this Levithan book. It sure made me sigh and realize how wonderful it is to have someone to love… and love me back that much. =)
Special thanks to Tina for lending me her copy while we were on vacation!...more
I intentionally delayed reviewing The Virgin Suicides. I need the right frame of mind to fully disclose what andI recommend The Virgin Suicides.
I intentionally delayed reviewing The Virgin Suicides. I need the right frame of mind to fully disclose what and how i feel upon reading and finishing the novel. Eugenides' writing is good, but I'm always after the story of a book anyway... and the Lisbon girls' story is nothing short of a heartsore. :(
I never found out why Cecilia killed herself. I can guess but I don't think I'll get it right. To lose the youngest member of your family... I could not, would not comprehend it. When Cecilia succeeded the second time, I was depressed. What could've push a child to greedily want death at that age?
There are two scenes that undeniably stood out and showcased Eugenides remarkable talent for writing. (1) Cecilia's suicide being described as a disease that will eventually spread and catch by her sisters, and (2) Lux's promiscuity on the roof. I was utterly bewitched when I read these scenes. So i read them again and again, feeling awestruck after every reread.
The suicide of the remaining 4 Lisbon girls was not what I contemplated. Having said that, their deaths delivered more punch to my already crumbling heart. I could not fathom my child dying ahead of me, but Mr. & Mrs. Lisbon lost all of their girls. :( Such tragedy. At a time like this, being a parent seemed highly impossible. It made me think if I'm raising my son right.
There was a scene where the boys called the Lisbon girls and instead of talking, they converse in way of songs. I reveled in this part, I am so in love with it! A simple act of reaching out that spoke volumes in both sides. *sigh* It was so sad.
I hope suicide will never be an option for me and my loved ones as a way out. The Virgin Suicides taught me that help is just a hand away, you only have to reach out; love is just a walk away, you only have to take a step towards it....more